The Swan Princess is a Sony Pictures film, so if you haven’t seen it, that’s probably why. Don’t be a Disney racist — give this movie a chance. It’s not perfect, but it is entertaining.
As you might imagine, it’s about a princess (Odette) who gets turned into a swan. Basically, her Dad (the King) pisses off a sorcerer named Lord Rothbart, who is portrayed by Mr. Ghoul himself, Jack Palance.
Lord Rothbart is banished for black magic when Princess Odette is a baby. Meanwhile, the King (who is widowed) and a widowed Queen from another village decide they’re going to bring their children together every summer until they fall in love. It’s a little pushy, but it all seems to work out once teenage hormones are in full rage.
Just when it seems Prince Derek might seal the deal, he somehow manages to fuck it up with a misogynistic comment. In full #MeToo mode, Odette tells him to shove it and heads back to her kingdom with her King Dad.
Shit gets dark real fast.
Lord Rothbart returns with some voodoo sorcery, kidnaps Odette, and murders her Dad and his knights. Then, to really rub salt in the wound, he keeps Odette at his shanty-ass castle and puts a spell on her that turns her into a swan. Each night, when the moon hits the lake, she turns back into a woman. But each morning when the sun rises, she returns to swan form. Odette will remain trapped at Lord Rothbart’s until she agrees to marry him, or until she kisses her true love and he makes a “vow of everlasting love” in front of the world.
In the tradition of most animated children’s films, Odette befriends some animals along the way — a chill turtle named Speed, a clever bird named Puffin, and a combative frog named Jean-Bob. Jean-Bob is voiced by the legendary John Cleese and is therefore the funniest character in the film.
Derek isn’t convinced Odette is dead, so he starts training Rocky-style to get her back. As far as animated princes go, Prince Derek doesn’t rank too far down the totem pole. His mullet-esque hair could use some help, but he makes up for it with a pair of exceptional thigh-high boots and a great singing voice.
The musical numbers in this animated film are quite nice. The songs No More Mr. Nice Guy, For Longer than Forever, and This is My Idea stand out as particular favorites.
In between these delightful musical numbers, the clever Prince Derek forges his way through the forest and eventually finds Odette.
No, this is not the end of the movie.
Odette is still under her swan spell, and she explains the predicament to Derek. They decide to meet the next night at Derek’s castle so he can make the vow of everlasting love to break the spell.
Sounds easy, right? WELL IT’S NOT. Watch the film to find out how their simple plan gets sidetracked, with a race against time to save the lovers’ relationship, and their lives.